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Week 9 Patriots vs Washington: Instant Analysis and 10 Observations from the Patriots 27-10 Victory

Did we learn anything from the Patriots victory over Washington?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line is a total disaster and yet still managed to succeed

The Patriots lost Sebastian Vollmer to a head injury and the left tackle joined Marcus Cannon and Tre Jackson on the sideline. New England eventually fielded a line of Cameron Fleming (former practice squadder), Shaq Mason (playing on a bad knee), David Andrews (undrafted rookie), Josh Kline (3rd year undrafted player), and Bryan Stork (last year's center). Good thing Washington is terrible or else this would have been awful.

LeGarrette Blount had a big day after a major injury to Dion Lewis

We all hope that Dion Lewis has a speedy recovery after what looked like a devastating knee injury. With Lewis on the sideline, the Patriots plugged in Brandon Bolden and Blount. While it wasn't the same, the run game still thrived. Blount picked up 129 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, while Bolden collected 39 yards and a touchdown reception. Lewis also posted 53 yards prior to his injury.

Brandon LaFell is back in the offense as the big threat

The big receiver posted 5 receptions for 102 yards, including a big 48-yard reception after a Tom Brady duck up the middle. Julian Edelman (55 yards and a touchdown) and Rob Gronkowski (47 yards) had relatively quiet days as the offensive line prevented the Patriots from relying on a passing attack.

Ball security was a major issue

Tom Brady threw his first direct interception on the year when he didn't see a Washington linebacker dropping into coverage of Edelman inside the red zone. Edelman lost a fumble of his own early on when Washington couldn't stop a nosebleed. Blount fumbled near the goal line but was able to recover it. This was a very ugly day for the offense.

Stephen Gostkowski is straight cash, homie

The kicker had another great day with two chip shot field goals, both just 21-yarders, and three extra point attempts. No one should take him for granted because he's been the best kicker in the entire league.

The run defense continues its ascent to the top of the league

The Patriots held the Washington running backs to 37 yards on 15 carries. That's a winning recipe right there. Akiem Hicks and Alan Branch were absolutely devastating against the run and Washington was unable to bounce the carry outside. Jonathan Freeny took some time to settle down and he was a huge drop from Jamie Collins, but the unit still did its job.

Chandler Jones has the league lead in sacks

It wasn't anything special, but Jones sacked Kirk Cousins early in the game to force Washington outside of field goal range, with the series eventually ending on a turnover on downs. Jones now has a league leading 9.5 sacks and he's been a key player while Jabaal Sheard has been sidelined.

The secondary was good, but really benefit from drops

It seemed like Washington had a similar day to what the Patriots brought against the Jets. Every other pass was a drop and I'm not really exaggerating. Cousins threw 13 incompletions and when the final figures come out, more than half of those incompletions will be drops. Still, roughly 50% of Cousins' passing yards came on his final two drives in garbage time.

Garbage Time still reigns supreme

Washington scored 7 more garbage time points, boosting the points allowed in garbage time to 49%. Yes, 49% of the points allowed by the Patriots have come after the team registered 99% chance of victory.

There is still plenty of room for improvement

If I had to highlight three places for the Patriots to improve, it would be: 1) offensive line play due to all the new faces; 2) ball security; 3) red zone efficiency. The first point is obvious and is expected. The second point will be Bill Belichick's main focus moving forward. The third point is crucial. The Patriots turned the ball over in the red zone and left with two field goals from the 4 yard line. That's terrible and shouldn't happen.